Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Big Time

Thirty-six years ago, I became fascinated by the mind/body problem, the ancient question of how our thoughts, ideas, dreams and perceptions get hooked up to the gray matter inside our noggins.

A few years later, it came to me that, since the matter of our brains lives at the quantum level, then maybe that was a good place to look for mind. It was the luckiest hunch of my life. Now, this notion wasn't even on the lunatic fringe at the time -- it was nowhere near the radar.

Fast forward to Spring, 2007, when the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and Stanford University will host a symposium on the subject.

They seem to think this worth mentioning at Cambridge.

Well! This puts a different complexion on things, doesn't it? I have been pursuing R&D on the subject for all this while, with emphasis on the "R." I have some smarts and a healthy ego, but would never want anyone to take my word for all this "quantum mind" stuff -- should anyone be so foolish as to do so -- that is not what science is about & not what I'm about.

So I've been doing my research, thinking my thoughts and airing my views -- but mostly off-Broadway, not wishing to make a bigger fool of myself.

At one time, I co-moderated the q-mind forum under Stuart Hameroff, of the Penrose-Hameroff model. I have sharp disagreements with their approach, but Sir Roger, thanks to his prestige, put us on the map.

Ironically, it may be Hameroff's emphasis on microtubules which stands the test of time. On the other hand, their ideas about the importance of quantum gravity have never held any appeal for me; vastly more important, in my view, is quantum electrodynamics (QED).

Quanta & Consciousness

Are Perceptual Fields Quantum Fields?

Quantum Exchanges

Now, however... the AAAI and Stanford are august bodies -- rightfully conservative, protective of their reputations and not given to supporting wild speculations. They have a lot of real-world clout.

I believe the tide has turned.